nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. China in Africa: Phoenix nests versus Special Economic Zones By Thierry Pairault
  2. Thirty years of economic growth in Africa By João Amador; António R. dos Santos
  3. Internationalization of African SMEs: Context, Trends and Challenges By Hamza El Guili
  4. Financial Inclusion and Bank Competition in Sub-Saharan Africa By Azanaw Mengistu; Hector Perez Saiz
  5. Working in chains: African informal workers and global value chains By Meagher, Kate

  1. By: Thierry Pairault (CECMC-CCJ - Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CCJ - Chine, Corée, Japon - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Many articles and studies introduce special economic zones (SEZ) as the solution that would boost Africa's development. In this Occasional Paper we will not discuss the accuracy of this vision. We will only ask whether the model of Overseas Economic and Commercial Cooperation Zones (OECCZ) that China is proposing to African countries – as well as those along the New Silk Roads – matches the definition of a SEZ as understood by Chinese researchers and commentators themselves. At this stage of our research, the most accurate answer could be Lin Yifu's for whom establishing an OECCZ is above all "building a nest to accommodate the Phoenix" [筑巢引凤 zhu chao yin feng] – i.e. China – without much consideration for the actual needs of the countries hosting these OECCZs.
    Keywords: China,Africa,Special Economic Zones,SEZ,Overseas Economic and Commercial Cooperation Zones,OECCZ
    Date: 2019–01–03
  2. By: João Amador; António R. dos Santos
    Abstract: This paper examines the contribution of employment, capital accumulation and total factor productivity (TFP) to economic growth in African countries over the period 1986-2014. The methodology consists in the estimation of a translog dynamic stochastic production frontier for a set of 49 African economies, thus allowing for the breakdown of TFP along efficiency developments and technological progress. Although the heterogeneity amongst African countries poses a challenge to the estimation of a common production frontier, this is the best approach to perform cross-country comparisons. The results of our growth accounting exercise are more accurate for the contribution of input accumulation and TFP to GDP growth than for the separation between contributions of technological progress and efficiency. We conclude that economic growth patterns differ across African countries but they have been almost totally associated to input accumulation, notably in what concerns capital. The experience of Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa - the three largest African economies - confirms this pattern.
    Keywords: Africa, Development, Growth Accounting, Dynamic Stochastic Frontiers
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Hamza El Guili (University of Abdelmalek Essaadi, Tangier, Morocco)
    Abstract: There has been an important increase in the international and inter-continental operations of African SMEs over the last decade, because of the emergence of regional “champions†, able to compete with foreign multinationals, present in the continent since many decades, but also because of the emergence of innovative and creative SMEs, capable to meet the market needs of various consumers of Africa. Understanding the particular international business landscape in Africa draws attention to several ignored research questions and research aspects, requiring further research and exploration, to contextualize the SMEs’ internationalization of African firms. This paper highlights relevant areas/aspects needed while studying the internationalization of SMEs, by bringing back the historical context of the continent. Next, this paper contributes to the understanding of the internationalization of African SMEs by analyzing the trends and opportunities of the research in this field. Finally, the challenges and the risks of the internationalization of African firms will be analyzed, in order to set the limits of the nature of internationalization of the continent’s SMEs.
    Keywords: Africa, SMEs, emerging markets, firms internationalization
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Azanaw Mengistu; Hector Perez Saiz
    Abstract: In this paper we study how competition and financial soundness affect financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We use detailed individual-level survey data, combined with key country-level indicators of bank competition and financial soundness, to study the effect on the adoption of several financial products (bank accounts, credit and debit cards, and bank loans). We find that more competition tends to increase the probability of access to these financial products. On the contrary, we do not find strong evidence of the effect of bank-balance sheet variables (i.e. capital adequacy or liquidity) on borrowing by individuals. Our results may help policy makers design regulations that could improve financial inclusion, which could potentially impact economic growth and long-term economic development.
    Keywords: Accounts;Competition;Financial inclusion;Financial soundness indicators;Balance sheets;Sub-Saharan Africa;financial soundness, debit cards, Business Objectives of the Firm
    Date: 2018–12–07
  5. By: Meagher, Kate
    JEL: N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2019–01–08

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